Holden Songwriting Lessons

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Check out some of our most popular teachers near Holden including Rutland, Worcester, Paxton, Jefferson and West Boylston.

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Jason K.

Medway, MA

About Jason

Hello, my name is Jason! I have been surrounded by music for my entire life. My father, a Berklee School of Music graduate, is an accomplished guitarist who introduced me to many forms of music as a child. At age seven he introduced me to Ringo Starr’s drum solo in “The End” by The Beatles and I knew that I wanted to learn to play percussion. Since that time, I have studied percussion theory and technique extensively with Shawn Green and Kevin Fortunato, both Berklee graduates. I studied film scoring, music theory, music history, and electronic composition at the Cambridge School of Westo
n under Gustavo-Assis Brasil (another Berklee graduate) and Michael Weinstein (the school’s music director and Berklee professor with an extensive list of degrees and credits). I also performed in many Rock/Pop and Jazz Ensemble classes under Gustavo’s direction where I got great performance experience as a teenager. My senior Capstone project at the Cambridge School was the performance of a drum clinic when I performed a drum solo improvisation as well as various contemporary songs. I then gave a lecture of the artistry and history of the drum solo in concert performance and the evolution of modern drum set equipment as well.

After study at the University of Connecticut, I returned to Massachusetts where I have since headed up the Percussion department at a local performing arts program for five years, teaching privately as well. I have recorded and performed with local bands The Movie: The Ride, Shiva Lingam, and Black Trip. Furthermore, I am working on the composition and production of an original album of music influenced by progressive rock, cinematic orchestral, industrial, world/ethnic, and classical symphonic music as well as other styles. My hopes for the future include the release of this material, the opening of a teaching/recording studio, and the publication of instructional percussion material.

Some of my biggest musical influences include (not just drummers): Ludwig Van Beethoven, Dream Theater (Mike Portnoy/Mike Mangini), Tool (Danny Carey), Thomas Lang, Zakir Hussein, Hans Zimmer, Jeremy Soule, Blind Guardian, Ellis Paul, Porcupine Tree (Gavin Harrison), and Mark Knopfler… this is by no means a complete list, just a snapshot!

*** Lesson Details ***
My students will gain the ability to play styles of music that inspire them through both sight reading and ear training. Through the reading of sheet music, band charts, and aural instrument recognition, my students will develop the tools necessary to play and compose music of any nature. It is my belief that all genres and styles of music can be a vehicle for the facilitation of solid physical technique as well as intuitive and cathartic emotional expression. It has been my experience that students will be more engrossed and motivated to practice when their curriculum involves music that they already listen to for enjoyment.

I use “Snare Drum Method” by Vic Firth as well as “Stick Control: For the Snare Drummer” by George Lawrence Stone with my beginning students to introduce written drum notation along with proper wrist and finger technique. My favorite book to use with students of any level is “Drum Set Warm-Ups” by Rod Morgenstein. This book has exercises that will consistently be appropriate for and challenge percussionists of all levels. It has worked wonders for my own development of speed, coordination, stamina, and limb independence; I use this book frequently in the way an athlete might go through stretches and the like before a game or tournament. Furthermore, I use Dave Weckl’s “Ultimate Play-Along: Drum Trax” series of books to introduce students to various styles of music (rock, funk, jazz, blues, etc.) from a drummer’s perspective. These books contain full-band charts for each song as well as versions of the songs with and without a recorded drum track. From here, I work with my students to choose songs from artists ranging from Tom Petty to Rush to Pat Metheney Group to further their development within a style that they enjoy. I often ask students to practice a few songs from their repertoire in one sitting if they want to prepare for a live concert situation.

In addition to my primary focus, I am well versed in the techniques and culture of many world instruments such as the djembe, doumbek, and cajon. I can teach my students tips and tricks for percussion instrument tuning, maintenance, and placement. I also offer drum set recording assistance and have a full array of microphone, cables, and recoding interfaces for audio production of your performances!

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide headphones, media playback devices, paper worksheets, and small hand percussion. I expect my student to have sticks, a metronome (or equivalent app), and at least one of the following: snare drum, drum kit, hand drum (bongos, conga, djembe, doumbek, cajon, etc.).

*** Specialties ***
I can teach a broad range of methods, styles, and genres for either drum set or percussion. On the drum set the bulk of my recording and performance experience resides in rock/metal, electronic/breakbeat, funk, and progressive music. I also have experience arranging film score/video game music for adaptation to the drum set. I teach coordination/stamina methods developed by Rod Morgenstein, and limb independence exercises designed by Thomas Lang. I teach both open and crossed hi-hat playing with a focus on matched grip for symmetrical drum arrangement and limb movement. I am also proficient in the Moeller wrist technique. My percussion focus has been primarily on African and Middle-Eastern styles and techniques recently (with instruments such as the djembe and the doumbek). I also specialize in translating these techniques to cajon, an instrument I build in my workshop.
...

Reviews

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Sean M. June 8, 2015
Drum · In home
Verified Student
I’m a 25-year-old beginner-level drummer. I highly recommend Jason as a drum set instructor. He is very patient, helpful, passionate, and reasonable. He is an accomplished drummer, but more importantly, an experienced teacher. He listened to my interest in drums, assessed my skill level, and customized my lesson plans around my goals. He uses materials and music that are engaging.
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Jason K.

Jason K.

Medway, MA 02053
(1)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Jeanne W.

Billerica, MA

Students must learn to know all of their major and minor scales before they are introduced to songwriting.

About Jeanne

I graduated from Berklee College of Music with a B.M. (Bachelor of Music in Applied Piano(Performance Degree). I also attended Eastern Nazarene College, where I received a Massachusetts state certificate to teach.
I've taught classroom music in public schools in Templeton, Boston and Somerville, Massachusetts, as well as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I also have experience teaching private piano in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I have taught private piano to a student in Athol, Massachusetts who continued on to Berklee College of Music, where he graduated.
I am a singer/songwriter/k
eyboardist who has 2 albums out, appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, on ABC National Television, and "The Jimmy Kimmel Live Show." I was on National Public Radio(NPR), on the BBC in London, England and my song "In Canada", which is covered by another music group "The Suspects" is featured in a film, "Montana Amazon" starring Haley Joel Osmond, Alison Brie and Olympia Dukakis.

*** Lesson Details ***
I generally use the Schirmer and Thompson books for piano lessons. I don't consider myself strict but I do expect students to practice at least an hour a day.
3-6 months I do expect them to be able to start playing the piano and to know their notes and their locations.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The studio is in a music room in the home with an upright piano w seating available.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I can go out and buy the books

*** Specialties ***
Jazz, experimental, rock and semi classical
...

Reviews

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Nathan P. July 15, 2015
Piano · In studio
Verified Student
Nathan very happy with the teacher. Curious mind is waiting for next class.
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Lauren M. May 3, 2013
Piano
Verified Student
Jeanne is a fantastic teacher

Jeanne is a great person and very easy to communicate with and I personally think that makes for a nice teacher/student relationship. I can ask her questions and she explains things very well. I feel in the 4 short weeks I have been working with her that she has taught me quite a bit. Each week I leave there with something new to challenge myself with. I would highly recommend Jeanne as she is a wonderful piano teacher. Thank you Jeanne. I look forward to this journey of learning.
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Jeanne W.

Jeanne W.

Billerica, MA 01821
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Elizabeth L.

Lowell, MA

About Elizabeth

I am a multi instrumentalist and professional musician of over a decade- and would love to teach you everything I know! I have been studying music for over 12 years, through school and college, on my own, and with private instructors including Chris Parello, Mike Orenzoff, Norma Hooks, and Buddy Charleton. I consider my main instrument to be guitar- I have been playing for about 12 years, and am comfortable in just about any professional situation on my instrument. I play lead guitar, rhythm, and we can go over many techniques and subjects to help you become more versatile and well rounded: in
cluding ostinato picking, slide/open tunings, improvisation, and composition.

I also teach Bassoon- which I studied throughout high school and college. Pedal Steel Guitar, I have studied for about 8 years, some of that time was with world renowned steel guitarist, Buddy Charleton. On the Tenor Saxophone, I have taught myself and am comfortable teaching beginning and intermediate players in saxophone technique and improvisation (mainly rock, blues, and jazz styles).

Each lesson is eagerly tailored to the student's strengths and needs in order to help them learn to the best of their ability, and ultimately, have fun!

Music is a language, and I want to give you the tools that you need in order to speak that language fluently. We will focus on your interests and genres that you prefer, while incorporating ear training, music theory, and new techniques specific to your skill level and instrument. Each lesson is tailored to each student's learning style. From reading music and beginning ear training, to writing counterpoint and mastering improvisational techniques, together we will find ways to help you grow, exponentially.

*** Lesson Details ***
When we schedule our first lesson, I will ask you a few questions about your interests, goals in taking lessons, and your priorities related to music. This way, I can be sure to tailor the lesson to meet your expectations and goals.

Generally, my lessons lean towards feeling a little "laid back".

Curriculum is based on student goals and priorities. Jazz studies will differ from studying rock n roll, as well as classical, etc. Once we have an introductory lesson, I will be able to review with you the materials, passages, postures, techniques, and music we will be working with. You always are encouraged to have a say in what you want to learn, whether it is your 1st or your 50th lesson.

*** Studio Equipment ***
amps, instruments, piano, waiting room

*** Travel Equipment ***
guitars, metronome, recording device

*** Specialties ***
I teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced students in genres including jazz, rock, metal, classical, funk, blues, country, pop, and more, on a handful of instruments including guitar, pedal steel guitar, bassoon, and tenor sax.
...

Reviews

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EdL January 31, 2012
Creative Musical Life Support

I am extemly pleased with the progress I have made thusfar. Elizabeth's method of teaching has taught me so much more than I would have expected to learn in the short amount of time that I have been involved so far. I am looking forward to a long and productive musical journey with Elizabeth and I'm confident that my talents, with Elizabeth's help, will improve beyond what I have imagined to achieve on my own through many years of unproductive struggle.
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Elizabeth L.

Elizabeth L.

Lowell, MA 01852
(1)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Ashley Y.

Sudbury, MA

Interesting in writing music? One-on-one guide to song form and technique. Theory included.

About Ashley

Ashley has been teaching Voice since upon graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Musical Theatre from Pace University in New York City in 2008. She is qualified and capable of teaching all levels and abilities, including: Musical Theatre, Classical, Rock/Pop, and Blues/Jazz. She is comfortable teaching all levels of Vocal study, from the absolute beginner to the advanced singer.

Ashley is also a trained Pianist with classical training, and is capable of teaching levels Beginner through Intermediate.

Ashley's first instrument was the guitar, and teaches acoustic and electric guitar f
or levels Beginner to Intermediate.

Ashley has performed all over New England and beyond since a very young age, making her professional debut at the Publick Theatre of Boston at the tender age of 12. Since then, she has continued to pursue her passion for music and all things theatrical, completing her BFA in Musical Theatre from the renowned Pace University in New York City, where she was able to partake in Master Classes with such industry names as: Jack O’Brien, Joanna Gleason, David Stone, Stephen Flaherty, Michael Greif, Victoria Clark, Jerry Mitchell, Adam Guettel, Donna Drake, Curtil Holbrook, Lonny Price, and Bob Cline. She has also performed professionally with: Rachel York, Patrick Cassidy, Lee Meriwether, and dance icon Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Following undergraduate study, Ashley decided it was time to branch out from the musical theatre realm and into the world of teaching and contemporary music. She completed graduate coursework in Vocal Pedagogy, Jazz Vocals, World Music, Choral Conducting, and General Music Education at the University of Massachusetts. She also is certified by the state of Massachusetts to teach classroom music for grades k-12.

Since graduating in 2008, Ashley has built up a plethora of students throughout the greater Boston area. An avid songwriter and lyricist as well, Ashley continues to perform and write for the live music scene, while teaching and fronting her own tribute band, Rocket Queen, New England’s own female-fronted tribute to Guns N’ Roses, which she built and founded in 2012.

In January 2013, Ashley toured the west coast and attended the infamous NAMM with an original metal/rock band entitled the Mike Kerr Group, for which she sang lead vocals.

Ashley is available to travel to students homes for lessons, or students are welcome to come to her comfortable air conditioned studio which is furnished with a baby grand piano for both Vocal and Piano lessons.

Ashley is most noted for teaching a sustainable and healthy "belting" technique. Her experience in various performance capacities from Opera, Musical Theatre, and Rock, make for a very well rounded music educator.
...

Reviews

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Gretchen D. November 25, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
We've been so happy with Ashley for the first couple of months of guitar lessons. She's very professional and my daughter loves going every week.
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John D. September 15, 2014
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Verified Student
I have enjoyed my lessons with Ashley because:

1. Pace of instruction is perfect for my level (beginner) and available practice time (limited).
2. Ashley isn't simply teaching me how to play a song; rather she is improving my technique in this critical period where bad habits can still be changed.
3. Always on time (granted instruction is at her location but none the less this is appreciated).
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Ashley Y.

Ashley Y.

Sudbury, MA 01776
(2)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
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Maggie M.

Sudbury, MA

focus on form, lyrics and harmony

About Maggie

I began playing violin at a young age, following the Cape Breton tradition. I later took up the banjo, and took it all the way to Berklee College of Music where in 2010 I was the first female to graduate with a principle on banjo.
I have spent the last 4 years touring heavily with my bluegrass band, Chasing Blue, teaching independently and teaching for various after school music academy's in the Boston area.
...

Reviews

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Christopher W. April 2, 2015
Banjo · In home
Verified Student
First lesson. Good start. Very accomodating. Too soon to assess effectiveness.
Silhouette-80
Olga T. October 30, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Alex loves to come to violin lesson with Maggie!
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Maggie M.

Maggie M.

Sudbury, MA 01776
(2)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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Songwriting Lesson Reviews from Students

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Whether you're just starting out or a seasoned pro, check out the Songwriting articles on our blog.

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When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs … Read More
The Anatomy of a Hit Pop Song [Infographic]
When you're learning how to write a song, looking at how other songs are structured can be a great place to start. Like looking at a map before you go on a roadtrip, checking out the basic elements of songs you love gives you a sense of how they were written and what you need to do to write a song of your own. If analyzing all your favorite songs sounds like a daunting task (it is), you're in luck. The Billboard Experiment wanted to know if there was a formula that could determine which songs
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Learning how to write a song is easier than you think! Greeley, CO teacher Andy W. outlines the steps here...  Don’t you wish you could write a song that tells your own story - whether it’s about love, hardships, or finding humor in life? There’s no reason that you can’t do that today! To help get you started, here are four easy steps to writing your own song: 1. Play chords or a riff. 2. Sing or hum over the harmony. 3. Repeat steps 1-2 to form a chorus and then a bridge. 4. Place
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